Fireside Chat With Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg | Summary and Q&A

September 21, 2012
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Fireside Chat With Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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In this video, Mark Zuckerberg discusses various topics related to Facebook, including its IPO, mobile strategy, Instagram acquisition, search capabilities, and the future of the platform. He emphasizes the importance of building great services and the mission-driven nature of the company. Zuckerberg also talks about the mistakes made with HTML5 and the switch to native development for mobile. He also touches on the reorganization of teams and the focus on Open Graph for app integration. Despite the challenges and fluctuations in stock prices, Zuckerberg remains optimistic about the future of Facebook and its ability to connect the world.

Questions & Answers

Q: What was Zuckerberg's response to the disappointment in Facebook's stock performance since its IPO?

Zuckerberg acknowledged the disappointing performance of the stock and expressed concern for the shareholders. He highlighted the company's commitment to its long-term mission of making the world more open and connected. He also mentioned that the success of Facebook's mobile strategy, specifically its performance on mobile platforms, will be a key factor in their future performance.

Q: How does Zuckerberg defend Facebook's mobile strategy and its potential for success?

Zuckerberg believes that Facebook's mobile strategy is fundamentally good for the company. He outlined three main reasons why mobile is important for Facebook: the increasing number of mobile users, higher engagement per user, and the opportunity for greater monetization compared to desktop. He discussed the significant growth of smartphones and Facebook's mobile user base, as well as the higher engagement levels of mobile users. Zuckerberg also expressed optimism about the monetization potential on mobile, especially with the integration of ads into the app experience.

Q: What were the challenges faced by Facebook in its mobile development, and how did the company address them?

Zuckerberg admitted that one of the biggest mistakes made by Facebook was betting too much on HTML5 for mobile development. He explained that they initially believed their face web framework, which enabled web-based development for mobile, would be sufficient. However, they realized that the quality of the user experience could not match native development. This realization led them to pivot and invest in native development for iOS and Android. Zuckerberg acknowledged the time lost due to this mistake but expressed confidence in the current state of their iOS app and the future improvements to come.

Q: How does Zuckerberg justify the acquisition of Instagram?

Zuckerberg described the Instagram acquisition as an opportunity to work closely with a talented group of engineers who were building an amazing product. He explained the initial integration between Instagram and Facebook's platform, which allowed seamless sharing of photos. Zuckerberg expressed excitement about collaborating with Instagram and shared a vision of helping the app reach hundreds of millions of users. He clarified that Facebook had no agenda in terms of forcing Instagram onto their infrastructure but rather aimed to prioritize joint efforts that would benefit both companies.

Q: Does Facebook have plans to create a phone?

Zuckerberg dismissed the idea of building a Facebook phone, stating that it would not make sense for the company's strategy. He argued that the number of users a Facebook phone would attract would not be significant compared to the millions already using Facebook on existing platforms. Instead, Facebook aims to be deeply integrated into all major devices and platforms, including mobile web, iOS, and Android. Zuckerberg emphasized the importance of building a system that leverages existing devices rather than creating a new hardware product.

Q: Is Facebook planning to enter the search market?

Zuckerberg acknowledged the importance of search but emphasized that there was no specific announcement to make at that time. He highlighted the evolution of search engines towards providing answers rather than just keyword-based results. He believes that Facebook, with its vast amount of user data, is uniquely positioned to answer specific questions related to users' social connections and preferences. Although he mentioned having a team working on search, he did not provide specific details or timelines.

Q: How has Facebook's platform evolved, and what is the focus moving forward?

Zuckerberg mentioned two main aspects of Facebook's platform. The first is the legacy canvas that primarily serves the gaming industry, where there have been ups and downs. While acknowledging the dominance of companies like Zynga, he mentioned that other game developers, such as Kixeye and, are gaining market share. The second aspect is Open Graph, which enables app integration and the ability to bring social context to various apps. Zuckerberg emphasized the opportunities this presents for developers to leverage Facebook's vast user base for distribution and social engagement.

Q: Has Zuckerberg's perception towards Facebook's stock performance affected his motivation and enjoyment of the work?

Zuckerberg stated that his motivation lies in the company's mission rather than personal enjoyment or fun. He emphasized the goal of connecting everyone in the world and enabling the sharing of information and experiences. He admitted that there are challenging days, but the overall impact and legacy of what Facebook can achieve keep him excited and motivated. Zuckerberg acknowledged the cyclical nature of public perception and expressed a preference for being underestimated, as it allows Facebook more freedom to take bold bets and surprise people.


In summary, Zuckerberg addresses various topics in the video, including the disappointing stock performance after Facebook's IPO, the significance of mobile for the company's future success, the acquisition of Instagram, Facebook's mobile strategy, search capabilities, and the evolution of the platform. Despite the challenges, Zuckerberg remains committed to the mission of connecting the world and is optimistic about the future of Facebook. The company's focus is on deep integration into various platforms, leveraging user data for app integration and distribution, and providing innovative experiences for its vast user base.

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